If you plan on taking your devices out and about with you, it’s important they can withstand the elements. Ingress Protection (IP) ratings indicate how resistant a device is to water and solids (dust/dirt).
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IP ratings have two numbers. The first relates to solids, such as dust, and has a maximum rating of 6. The second relates to water and goes as high as 8. An X rating means it hasn’t been assessed for that type of protection.
|Level of protection||Solid ingress||Water ingress|
|X||Not tested||Not tested|
|2||>12.55mm||Vertically dripping water when tilted 15°|
|3||>2.5mm||Water falling in a spray up to 60°|
|4||>1mm||Splashing water from any direction|
|5||Protected from most dust, though some small particles may be able to get in||Low-pressure sprayed water|
|6||Dustproof||High-pressure water jets|
|7||-||Immersion up to 1m|
|8||-||Immersion beyond 1m. Often the maximum recommended depth is stated in conjunction with this rating.|
We caution an object with a waterproof IP rating should not be purposely immersed in water unless the manufacturer says it’s designed for it, such as swimming watches. IP ratings are assessed in lab conditions, which means they can’t always account for real-life situations. Some manufacturers err on the side of caution and will not highlight a product’s IP rating or will understate the level of protection.